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New Years' Resolutions for Public Schools!

posted Dec 31, 2011, 8:27 AM by Jen Sauer   [ updated Dec 31, 2011, 10:43 AM ]

About 25 folks, teachers, children, babies, advocates, parents, and students gathered at a MAPS teacher's home to enjoy each others company and discuss our New Years hopes for public education.  Folks enjoyed the potluck discussion, singing by the fire and working together to create hope for all students.  Below is a synopsis of the discussion:

What is one experience or development in 2011 that made you hopeful about public education?
  • The growth of activism in public education
  • California educators striking for a day to demand changed policies
  • Animation project
  • Use of technology
  • Decision to try to do what is right
  • Laughter!
  • Hope for students: a story about a student succeeding in college
  • Groups like MAPS!
  • Use of arts in classes
  • Students helping other students learn their native languages
  • Students teaching students/peer coaching
  • Science fair
  • Long term projects
  • Using outdoor education in the public school setting
  • Using organic gardens to teach students about sustainability
What are the biggest challenges in public education today?
  • Too many tests of questionable value being used to evaluate teachers and students
  • Too much time spent on test prep and not enough time for actual teaching and learning
  • Not enough time spent teaching critical thinking
  • Not enough time for teachers to reflect and plan effective lessons
  • Passing students through school too quickly
  • Too many failing schools being ignored by the government   
  • New plan to grade teachers and schools by later college performance
  • Privatization (corporations) trying to take over public education
  • Pressure and blame put on people at all levels
  • More fighting
  • Need more arts
  • Homogenization of what is taught in schools
What do you wish for public education in 2012?
  • More time to create quality lessons
  • Smaller class sizes
  • Flavored milk OUT of the schools!
  • More critical thinking and time for critical thinking
  • Hands-on curriculum
  • Arts and music
  • Pass the CRCT (end of year standardized test)
  • Fully funded education
  • Prioritize public education not war!
  • lots of funding!
  • Improve online instruction to reduce the environmental impact of bussing  
  • Support for undocumented students
  • Prepare kids for the future
  • More creativity
  • More technology
  • Less time spent on testing more on teaching/experiencing
  • No more budget cuts
  • Kindles/tablets so that students do not need huge backpacks

Jen Sauer,
Dec 31, 2011, 8:27 AM